Medical imaging: artificial intelligence changes the rules…

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“AI has the potential to change all of our diagnostics and treatment procedures to enable more personalized and effective medicine.”says Marjorie Villien, PhD. Technology & Market Analyst, Medical & Industrial Imaging at Yole Développement (Yole).
And Yohann Tschudi, PhD. Technology & Market Analyst, Computing & Software adds: “At Yole, we estimate the total market in 2025 for software generated revenues through the sale of AI tools will reach US$2.9 billion with a 36% CAGR between 2019 and 2025. These revenues can be shared between the main applications including improved image capture, noise reduction, image reconstruction, screening, diagnostic and treatment planning.”

Yole Group of Companies including Yole and KnowMade investigates the computing & software domain for a while. Its aim is to develop a deep understanding of the impact of AI on the semiconductor industry, with a special focus on software development. Since the beginning, with dedicated teams, the market research, strategy and IP consulting companies have developed an impressive expertise with both perspectives, software and applications including automotive, consumer and medical. AI, cryptocurrencies, machine learning and block chain are the key words of their researches and are well analyzed in a dedicated collection of reports. A detailed presentation of this collection is available on, reports & monitors section.

AI is clearly one of the biggest questioning today. Lots of companies invest a lot of money and develop innovative technologies to answer the market demands and follow the industry evolution. The semiconductor industry is part of this revolution. Today Yole and KnowMade are pleased to announce a special focus on the medical imaging applications with two dedicated reports, respectively AI for Medical Imaging market & technology report and AI in Medical Diagnostics – Patent Landscape.

With its new technology and market report, AI for Medical Imaging, the market research and strategy consulting company, Yole is offering a comprehensive overview of the AI market in the field of medical imaging with the companies involved. This new report proposes a deep analysis at different levels of the supply chain, from device to platform including the development of the related algorithms. Analysts reveal a relevant picture of the ecosystem, technologies used, strategic positioning and the evolution for the coming years. As Yole did in its previous AI reports, AI for Consumer and AI for Automotive, the company points out the software companies’ strategy, the different business models and much more…
To complete this technology & market approach, KnowMade describes the patent landscape with the time-evolution of published patents, and countries of patent filings as well as a relevant analysis of the IP strategies of the key players in its new AI in Medical Diagnostics – Patent Landscape report. In addition to the presentation of a detailed ranking of main patent assignees, KnowMade’s analysts identified over 90 IP newcomers including startups, described their operations and listed their patents.
Why do we regularly find AI in the medical imaging industry? What are the medical imaging applications? Why is AI key for today’s market and its future? Who are the leading players? Who has built and maintained a strong IP portfolio? Is there still any room for new players?… Yole Group analysts offer you today a relevant snapshot of AI for medical imaging.

AI is based on the training of algorithms. Deep learning is a type of AI technology based on artificial neural networks which can detect more precise details in the data. This technology has initially been implemented for recognition models and is specialized for the study of images.
“Radiology is mutating with the adoption of deep learning models for the recognition of lesions in the body, to prioritize cases for the direct treatment of patients at risk, to predict the evolution of pathologies”, asserts Marjorie Villien from Yole. “Furthermore, AI affects all the imaging modalities in particular MRI , CT scanning, X-rays and Ultrasound imaging. These are the ones at the center of Yole’s study.”
Not every type of modality requires the same algorithm. In fact, modalities can be organized into two types of procedures: quality procedures, which include MRI and CT scans, and fast imaging procedures, which include ultrasound and X-rays.
“The professionals’ needs depend highly on the imaging modality used”,adds Marjorie.
On the one hand, MRI and CT scans are intensive procedures able to acquire high quality images. With the addition of annotations on the images, the model can reach very high accuracy to classify pathologies or to segment objects. Furthermore, the execution speed of the model does not need to be very fast, as the imaging procedure is usually long. On the other hand, models trained on ultrasound images are in need of very fast execution to be able to process real-time images. Those models are then used to detect abnormalities faster and prioritize cases, implying an important productivity gain.
The application of the models empowered by AI can be classified as within 3 parts: the screening models, in charge of the detection of abnormalities, the diagnostic models which is, from its side, in charge of the evaluation of the disease and the treatment planning models. These latest ones are able to predict the most pertinent treatment according to the pathology and the physical condition of the patient. The value generated by the use of such models in hospitals depends on their applications.

According to Yole’s AI reports, more than US$2.05 billion has been invested since 2010 by companies working on the development of artificial intelligence for medical imaging. Companies such as Heartflow received US$476 million investment in the past 10 years. The main expected players in this market are the medical diagnostic systems manufacturers, General Electric, Philips and Siemens, but also AI-guru companies like IBM or Microsoft. “Beside these big companies, the number of IP newcomers is important and growing”,asserts Brice Sagot, CTO and co-founder at KnowMade. And he adds: “Unlike the development of new medical devices, AI software development costs are moderate. As a result, the number of IP newcomers developing innovative software is likely to continue to rise sharply in coming years.”
Thereby, with emergence of many new companies like Aidence, Bay Labs and, and given the many advantages and new applications of AI for medical diagnostics, it is crucial to understand the IP position and strategy of these different players. This analysis helps detect business risks and opportunities, anticipate emerging applications, and enables strategic decisions to strengthen one’s market position. In addition, the analysis of the time evolution of patent publications points out the development of medical diagnostic systems with built-in computer-assisted detection features. According to KnowMade’s AI report, this trend is not new.
“The first patents related to this topic were published in the 1980s”, explains Olivier Thomas, Patent & Technology Analyst at KnowMade.“In the 1990s Japanese medical imaging system manufacturers like Toshiba, Fujifilm, Topcon, Fujitsu and Hitachi started to investigate this topic soon followed by European companies like Siemens and Philips and then by American companies like IBM, Medtronic and General Electric…”

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